Gap bungles crowd sourcing in logo crisis

Gap Inc. has been criticised for its handling of social media and crowd sourcing after the retailer scrapped its new logo just a week after it was introduced following an online backlash.

The US clothing retailer revealed a new logo across its website in the US last week but it was immediately derided as “unsophisticated,” “uncreative” and “devaluing the brand”.

Gap then attempted to initiate a crowd sourcing project by asking its Facebook fans to “share their designs”. 

This drew further criticism and Gap has since scrapped the new logo and crowd sourcing project and retained its original 20-year old “blue box” brand logo.

In a statement Marka Hansen, president of Gap North America, recognized that it “did not go about [crowd sourcing] in the right way” and if Gap looks to “evolve” its brand identity in the future, it will “handle it differently.”

She adds: “We’ve learned a lot in this process. We recognize that we missed the opportunity to engage with the online community. This wasn’t the right project at the right time for crowd sourcing.”

Observers say Gap should use the incident as an opportunity to build relationships with customers.

Rana Khodadoust, strategist at brand consultancy Wolff Olins, says that it’s a “surprise” to see a brand react so quickly to what customers were saying online and that Gap is “doing the right thing” by scrapping the new logo.

“Brands have to accept that with social media they no longer control their brands in the same way they did 20 years ago. This might be damaging today but it’s a future opportunity to engage consumers in a better conversation,” she adds.

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